Pink Wasn’t Always Considered a Feminine Color and Blue Wasn’t Always Masculine

Any expectant mother or father these days is doubtless aware that items designed for baby girls are commonly pink, and those meant for baby boys are blue. But it wasn’t always this way.

As recently as the early 1900s, pink was seen by many as a color that went better with boys, and blue as a color that went better with girls. Newspapers like the The Sunday Sentinel in 1914 offered tips to new parents such as, “If you like the color note on the little one’s garments, use pink for the boy and blue for the girl, if you are a follower of convention.”


Above: Which is more manly?
Another paper, the Ladies Home Journal in 1918 wrote, “There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” It’s also said that since pink is closer to red, it was more appropriate for boys because red is a “fierce” color, whereas blue was associated with girls since the Virgin Mary is customarily dressed in blue.

Regardless of the original connotations of the two colors, it’s clear that they’ve now reversed their earlier meanings and that pink is much more associated with girls now, and vice versa for blue. There have been some studies that suggest that women just “naturally” like pink better, and that blue is a color that men prefer innately. Others suggest that the now current color consensus, which appears to have materialized in the 1950s, came from the Nazis branding gays with pink triangles in their concentration camps.

Whatever the reason, the two colors associations may not be set in stone. In fact, there are some indications that pink is making a comeback as a manly color, so stay tuned.

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14 Responses to “Pink Wasn’t Always Considered a Feminine Color and Blue Wasn’t Always Masculine”

  1. [...] Pink Wasn’t Always Considered a Feminine Color and Blue Wasn’t Always Masculine history.verdeserve.com/pink-wasnt-always-considered-a-feminine-color-and-blue-wasnt-always-masculine – view page – cached Any expectant mother or father these days is doubtless aware that items designed for baby girls are commonly pink, and those meant for baby boys are blue. But it wasn’t always this way. [...]

  2. pink is a color that came from red which in the color code is alkaline which makes it a masculine color blue is a girl color bc its soft and feminine however over time the world has flipped so much that color is also one of them; so next time u decide to dress ur baby boy in blue well he’s wearing girl colors and vice versa

  3. [...] This is clear because the essential traits of femininity and masculinity can’t possibly be encompassed by the color pink, nor by the painting of toenails. For example, pink hasn’t always been a color for girls. Back in 1918, the Ladies Home Journal wrote, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl” (Forgotten History Blog). [...]

  4. [...] Recently, I came across an article discussing how in earlier times, baby blue was actually the color associated with girls and pink was associated with boys.  I can’t find the article now, but a quick search gave me this. [...]

  5. [...] – The Forgotten History Blog : WTF World The Lighter [...]

  6. [...] Pink Wasn’t Always Considered a Feminine Color and Blue Wasn’t Always Masculine Related posts: Color Photography Technology Has Existed For About 150 Years Whatever the reason, the two colors associations may not be set in stone. [...]

  7. It depends. For example, my father – old Finnish man – avoids red because some Finnish people (like me) think it is feminine color.

  8. [...] encouraging intense rejection of everything associated with femininity (e.g., reviling the color pink, “boys don’t cry” (like girls), and the now classic gendered insult, ”you [...]

  9. I am a man and like to wear pink twin sets.

  10. well according to my research blue is and has always been a feminine colour, water is feminine and its blue, mother earth is feminine, and shes got alot of blue, blue is also a calming colour which is yin ( feminine) so yes all thise boys out there ate wearing feminine colours, and yes pink is a bright flamboyant colour, its masculine no doubt its yang (masculine) as its so bright and an energetic watered down red which is a fierce colour. so they were right in the old days to give blue to girls and pink to boys.

  11. There have been some studies that suggest that women just “naturally” like pink better, and that blue is a color that men prefer innately.

    makes sense then for girls to wear blue and guys to wear pink if trying to attract the opposite sex

  12. [...] are wrapped in pink blankets, and boys in blue. But it was not always like that, as The Forgotten History Blog describes. However, today, pink is considered to be feminine, cute, dainty, and is related to [...]

  13. [...] This is a pretty descriptive article on the subject. [...]

  14. [...]  In addition, during about that same time, it was also suggested that the Nazis branding gays with pink triangles may have contributed to shifting public opinion.  Regardless of what role either of those two [...]